They’re watching me. Every move I make is being observed. Every word I used is being analyzed. Their eyes are following me, looking at me, waiting for me to slip up, watching to see if I do something right, watching me. No, this isn’t a paranoia like being chased by those clowns again from Poughkeepsie, NY (long story). Nope. These are everyday people watching what I am doing.
And for others who claim to follow Jesus, you’re being watched too.
It started off small enough: “Keep ‘Christ’ in ‘Christmas’ was a popular saying (because X-mas was for some reason taking Christ out of Christmas when the “X” stood for the Greek word “chi” (as in sky) which is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ.
Then there became the “War of Christmas” wherein Christians became offended that people were telling them “Happy Holidays” at stores rather than the “Merry Christmas” they so demanded (not taking into account…oh…Thanksgiving and New Years are also holidays around this time and there are other holidays that are celebrated as well).
Next there was the ongoing discussion and undercover videos of Planned Parenthood and all that entailed. Those who are pro-life rose up in anger over this. As one who is against abortion, I understood their anger. I believe that human life is important on all ends. Those who are pro-life and speak out regularly started posting memes and what not calling for defending of Planned Parenthood.
And then came the Starbucks kerfluffal. Apparently Starbucks decided not to have snowflakes and snowmen on their cups this year and have a Yuletide red instead. Simple. Basic. Fine. But then Christians got into an uproar because they got rid of Chistmasy things on the cups. Christians were no seeing red (no one cheered on Dunkin’ Donuts when they released their very much holiday themed cups… oh well).
The grandest of them all though is after the Paris terrorist attacks, the shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, and now the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.
Shortly after the Paris attacks, profile pictures changed to being overlaid with the French flag, memes calling for prayers for Paris popped up all over the place. Christians were calling for prayer and support for Paris.
And then word got out that one of the attackers slipped into Europe via the Syrian Refugee crisis. That’s where things got…weird. I started hearing from Christians how we need to protect the US of A first and foremost. I began to hear people saying that we need to stop these Muslim extremists from coming over. I began to hear how we need to stop Muslims all together and create Muslim free zones. I saw memes pop up saying that we have 40,00 homeless veterans (or 30,000 or 50,000 depending on which meme was posted) that need help first before Syrian refugees.
Keep them out. Bar them. Stop them. Protect our own.
After the Colorado shootings, Christians were quick to denounce the shooter as mentally ill and distanced themselves from him.
And then after San Bernardino, again Christians posted for prayers for the city but calls to get rid of Muslims.
And the world is watching.
We Christians so many times complain that no one cares about Jesus any more. We lament how so many have left the church today. We mourn the loss of so many and wonder why so many aren’t coming to church or think it is relevant to today.
Why won’t they listen to us?
That’s the thing.
People have been watching me, people have been watching you.
It has been the non-Christians who have started pointing out Scripture to Christians. Here are some of the Bible verses they’ve quoted:
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself.” Leviticus 19:33-34
“‘Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all your mind and with all of your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
“Do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Matthew 5:39
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
People have been paying attention. They have been listening. They have been watching.
I’ve also heard non-Christians say “If you care so much about an unborn child, why are you refusing to help give life to a living child in need?” In other words, if life is so important to you, why aren’t you supporting all human life? They are wondering: If you protest planned parenthood for selling baby parts, why aren’t you protesting ISIS for human trafficking, displacing innocents, and destroying people? Why aren’t you supporting the very life you call sacred and important? If you are fighting so hard for the unborn, why aren’t you fighting even harder for the born?
Dear Christians, dear followers of Jesus, please listen carefully: You are being watched. You are being judged. And we have been found wanting. Every Christian, every follower of Jesus is not only an ambassador for Christ, being His representative here on earth, we are also representatives as the church, representatives for Christians everywhere. It is correct that we shouldn’t be judged by the actions of a few. Yet we are. What you say and do can and will be applied to a filter of how other Christan and the Church are seen and evaluated.
As a Christian, you might be the only Bible someone ever reads. Make sure it’s a good translation because you are being watched, and so am I.